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Los Altos Story Tree, California, USA | by Wonderlane
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Los Altos Story Tree, California, USA

The Five Planes of User Experience

When working with a user interface designer, or a UI designer is working with a client, there are 5 levels of looking at the UI design:


• 5: Surface Plane: web pages made up of images and text.

• 4: Skeleton Plane: the placement of buttons, tabs, images, and blocks of text.

• 3: Structure Plane: abstract structure of the site.

• 2: Scope Plane: features and functionality.

• 1: Strategy Plane: what the owners and users of the site want to achieve.


The five planes build from bottom to top.


The planes have slight nuances, depending on whether the (part of the) web site under design is task- oriented or information-oriented.


Stagger Work on Planes

Do not wait for work on one plane to finish before starting on the next. There must be some degree of iteration (feedback loop).

Work on a particular plane cannot finish before work on lower planes has finished.


Prof. Dr. Keith Andrews

Information Architecture and Web Usability

706.041 Information Architecture and Web Usability WS 2007/2008 3VU

Graz University of Technology

Inffeldgasse Austria

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Taken on January 26, 2009